With the Autumnal Equinox right around the corner (9/23 at 2:50am EDT, to be exact), fall is practically here! We could not be more excited for the change of seasons. Obviously, we love the cooler weather, Halloween, and pumpkin spice lattes (admit it: you love them too), but we're also excited for Autumn because it's one of the best times for outdoor film and photography. Keep reading for our three tips on how to take the best outside photos in fall!
1) Know The Foliage Season
Obviously, one of the great things about fall is all the leaves! The contrasts of different colors and types of leaves add dimension and texture to your photos. This might sound kind of silly, but hear us out: Check out the Farmers' Almanac early in the season for when leaves in your area will be at their brightest. You can access their list of dates by state here. The Smoky Mountains National Park website also has a nationwide fall foliage prediction map, which can be found here. Before peak dates, determine what colors and types of leaves and scenery you want for your shoot (see below re picking a theme). Coordinate with weather forecasts to choose a shoot date and location that is available during your area's most vibrant time for Autumn leaves.
2) Pick A Theme
Choosing a theme is going to make other technical decisions--such as desired weather, foliage, and props--far easier. Thankfully, fall offers a lot of different themes. You could go spooky for Halloween (whimsical or scary!), romantic with a picnic, or keep it more classic with pumpkins and scenery. Once you decide the photoshoot's underlying theme, figure out exactly what props, costumes, lighting/weather, foliage, etc. you will need. Don't just assume that the location you have in mind will be the perfect on-theme backdrop all on its own. This means checking out the Farmers' Almanac, doing some scouting, and bringing exactly what you need to the shoot. You also need to choose a day where the weather corresponds with your theme. Foggy days are perfect for spooky shoots, whereas overcast days create the best lighting for romantic photos. Regardless of your theme, avoid shooting on sunny days. Bright sunshine creates harsh shadows that lower the quality of your photos.
3) Choose A Colorful Location
One of the best parts of outdoor shoots in the fall is being able to take advantage of all the colorful scenery that the season offers. Find a location that is both colorful and fits your theme. We suggest places like pumpkin patches, cabins, and campsites (the bright oranges, deep greens, and earthy tones make for beautiful composition); apple orchards and wineries (vibrant reds and yellows, muted greens and oranges, and a blue sky create incredible contrast); and forests/state parks (the wide variety of different types of foliage and scenery create depth and highlight the vibrance in your frame). While not necessarily the most colorful on their own, cemeteries can also make for a great set location. Bringing colorful props such as pumpkins, candles, books, or accessories can balance an otherwise flat color scheme while making for a fun and spooky shoot.
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